Pro­duc­tion canned

JAMES “Honda has done the hard work al­ready” ”

Motor Sport News - - Racing News -

The first round of the Brit­car Pro­duc­tion Cham­pi­onship last week­end was can­celled due to its prox­im­ity to this week­end’s Creven­tic 24 Hours of Sil­ver­stone. “Teams re­sisted the idea of rac­ing be­cause they were con­cerned that if they crashed, they wouldn’t be able to make the turn­around in time for the 24-hour race,” said co-di­rec­tor Rob Hed­ley. “We will re­turn on May 7 at Snet­ter­ton.”

The wait­ing is fi­nally over. The Bri­tish Tour­ing Car Cham­pi­onship is back and, fol­low­ing the se­ries’ of­fi­cial test day at Don­ing­ton Park last week, a few of the pre­sea­son ques­tions have been an­swered.

While the main head­lines will be about the new Subaru Levorg pro­gramme that is go­ing to be op­er­ated by Team BMR, oth­ers have been work­ing dili­gently in the back­ground to hone their ma­chines ahead of the open­ing three races at Brands Hatch this week­end.

Prime among them is Team Dy­nam­ics, which once again will be run­ning the Honda Civic Type R.

If you look at the facts, it is hard to see be­yond Team Dy­nam­ics win­ning the cham­pi­onship again. Matt Neal set the fastest time at Don­ing­ton Park while reign­ing cham­pion Gor­don Shed­den lan­guished in 16th place. Don’t let the Scot­tish driver’s po­si­tion fool you – he will be in the heart of the cham­pi­onship bat­tle at the sea­son’s end.

There wasn’t a lot wrong with the Honda at the end of last sea­son, but that didn’t mean that there wasn’t plenty of work for the en­gi­neers to fo­cus on. The hatch­back was very late on pa­rade ahead of the 2015 cam­paign – so much so that Shed­den had only done one day of run­ning be­fore the opener. With the lim­ited amount of in-sea­son mileage, it meant that Team Dy­nam­ics wasn’t in a po­si­tion to re­fine what it had: it was just lucky that it was well-built in the first place and was fast enough. Those changes would have to wait un­til the close of the cam­paign be­fore they could be put in to place, but that work has been done now.

The only ques­tion mark sur­rounds the new con­trol parts, which will be pro­vided by RML. Most of the teams on the grid will have the new parts, in­clud­ing the sus­pen­sion, the sub­frames and the power steer­ing.

Ac­cord­ing to en­gi­neers, it is quite a sig­nif­i­cant change and it will be a chal­lenge to get the most from the cars. While ev­ery team on the grid will have the same prob­lems, the en­gi­neer­ing strength at Team Dy­nam­ics has been proved time and time again with new cars and cham­pi­onship-win­ning cam­paigns. It will be a tough time for ev­ery­one, but ex­pect Dy­nam­ics to cope bet­ter than most.

All of those in­gre­di­ents add up to mean that the Honda will once again be in pole po­si­tion to claim the sil­ver­ware at the end of the sea­son.

Given the speed and con­sis­tency Shed­den showed last sea­son, he will prob­a­bly have the edge over Neal too. So here it is, neck on the line time: my tip is Shed­den for a third ti­tle.

Honda will take a lot of stop­ping this sea­son

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